Stylishly and Efficiently Lighting Your Home
December 14, 2009
Home lighting must be approached differently than commercial lighting. Your home’s lights do more than illuminate; they must welcome the guest and comfort the occupant. Home lighting should also be affordable to use. Below are some general guidelines which should enable you to effectively and stylishly light your home.
Saving Energy with Home Lighting
One thing to keep in mind is that lighting fixtures account for about 20% of a home’s electrical usage. If you really want to save energy, start with your larger appliances. That being said, though, you can save energy by using modern lighting fixtures, compact fluorescent bulbs, and dimmer switches or timers.
Natural lighting is often overlooked when planning your home lighting, but it is your home’s greatest asset. Strategically placed windows, skylights, and mirrors can brighten up a house without using a single watt.
Home Lighting with Style
Properly layered lighting can save energy and beautify your home. Think of the difference between harsh factory lighting and a candlelit dinner table. Layered lighting fits nicely between the two extremes: bright enough to work in, but soft enough to relax in.
Layered lighting uses different lights for different purposes:
- Ambient Lighting is foundational lighting – the light you turn on when you enter a room. Ambient lighting is accomplished with ceiling fixtures and floor lamps.
- Accent Lighting brings attention to an object, such as a beam of light illuminating a painting.
- Decorative lighting brings attention to the light itself, such as with sconces or candles.
- Task lighting is brighter light directed toward task surfaces such as tables, counters and desks.
Layering your lighting and following common-sense conservation methods will result in a comfortably lit home that you can also afford to illuminate.